I started to write about Ha Long Bay last night, but quickly developed a brain fart, with so much to remember, and convey. Had a wonderful dinner with Mike and, most of the crew, on the way back Joy and Laurie wanted to do some quick shopping at night market, so I volunteered to ride shotgun for them. When I got back to the hotel everyone was out on the town having a good time, Hey guyyyyys!
So I settled in to write. Brian wandered in some time during the night, this morning we decided to do something for David today, as yesterday was his birthday, and later this afternoon he leaves us for Bangkok on business.
Brian, David and me. Who would have figured, a motley crew at best! Brian and I bonded immediately as rooms mates tend to do, you either get along from the get go, or one of you is found dead the following morning. David on the other hand is the crew's Mr. Wizzerd. You need med's for an affliction, he's there with a pill, you're pants are falling down, he's got a safety pin to hold them up! You always say there's always one in the group, and David's the one, we lucked out!
Brian and I are lucky, he's a Photojournalist on the trip, and a colleague from city. David on the other hand is an English Professor from El Camino, Compton Center. At first glance you wouldn't picture a group of professionals as our selves getting along as we have. I'm kind of crazy, and spontaneous at time's, Brian is somewhat quite and demure most of the time, and David, quiet, intelligent and articulate in his own right.
When Brian and I were discussing our escape from the group to Chu Lai early in the trip, David overheard our plot, and expressed his desire to accompany us as a backup conspirator. Later that evening Brian and I discussed the offer, wondering if David would be a good fit for the trip, turned out David's now part of the 3 Muskateer's. The crew have noticed the bond we have developed during the trip, and notice we pretty much hang out together most of the time. One made the comment that they can smell the testosterone in the air when we're around.
One of my fondest memories of time around David, was the return from Ha Long Bay, one that was supposed to be 4 hour routine bus ride back to Hanoi, but ended up to be a 5 1/2 hour trip from hell! Aside from the Tiajuana bus with no rear suspension or shocks, and the 1 near head-on collision half way back, or the human ping pong ball experience we had at the rear of the bus every time we hit a rut or gouge in the road, everything went just fine! Ouch!
One more memorable experience that kind of sealed the deal for us as friends, was the road trip to Chu Lai, I won't get into it again, but it was good to have David in the back seat with me on the way back to Danang while Brian sat upfront with his friend, I was pretty much a basket case all the way back, all 4 1/2 hours, and we spoke most of the way.
During my lunch experience, you'll read about next he called to let me know he was off to Bangkok, our timing was off for the get together, but I wished him well and told him, to remember the 3 of us are now joined at the hip, and to have a safe trip.
I'll end with that.